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AAT awards rally winners

4th February 2013
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Leonard Thadeo

The Automonile Association of Tanzania, AAT awarded various winners of the 2012 motor sport season at a brief but colourful ceremony held in Dar es Salaam on Saturday evening.

 The colourful function attracted the director of sport in the Ministry for Information, Culture, Youth and Sports Leonard Thadeo, Secretary General National Sports Council Henry Lihaya, chairmen of all Motor Sports Clubs as well as AAT executive committee members.

The ceremony saw Dharam Pandya who eclipsed his father Kirit being crowned as the best driver for the season after excelling in six events staged throughout the country.

 Pandya who used Subaru Impre4zza has always been using his uncle Sanjeev Pandya as a navigator.

 The young driver in his early thirties was responsible for retaining the title inside his family circles as his father Kirit was the winner during the previous season.

Kirit trailed his son to win the runners-up prize together with his navigator Awadh Bafadhil who used Subaru Legacy during the season.

This is the first time in the history of the AAT for the best performers of two consecutive seasons to hail from the same family, save for Kishore Shapriya’s rollercoaster display during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Shapriya was navigated by Deepak Kotak and came into retirement after the Agip motor rally in 1998.

Arusha Motor Sports Club driver Marco Fereira who was navigated by Manmeet Birdi claimed the third spot in the final standings. The northern Tanzania club driver managed to win one of the six events staged during the season and finished at a respectable position in other rallies as well.

The occasion also witnessed Arusha Motor Sports Club being awarded as the most outstanding club yet for another season having excelled in rally organisation.

The club has been maintaining two AAT sanctioned events and no other club in the country has managed to do that to boost motor sport promotion.

 The club was represented by Fereira who took the prize amid cheers and celebrations from the motor sport fans who took trouble to attend the function at Msasani’s Barbeque Village.

The AAT president Nizar Jivani thanked all the stakeholders who turned up during the function and wished them the best of luck for the new season.

 Jivani underlined on motor sport safety saying a total of 97 officials have been trained during the season. He said AAT is still soliciting funds from FIA to ensure more training sessions are held to boost safety and make the motor sport an enjoyable and free from accidents.

During the previous season no serious injury was reported and all drivers who competed in various rallies finished unharmed and alive.

 Safety measures in Tanzanian organised rallies won the country as the third overall in the continent during the 2011 season. A report for the 2012 is still yet to be released by FIA.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN